Epiphany Set

The head nun gave us two things: ‘You are a
good person’, and ‘It’s just a statue’.
There’s no wavering when you get it from
an expert. Hope borrowed from her jumps
into you. We lesbian rurals start
our 21st family year knit up tight
together. If, when, how will we marry?
We wait, we hope. We age and watch justice
like the rocky hills outside our home, cold
around us. Every day we hold to our
vows, each one a bead held by knobbed fingers.
Come down, search the cellar for that speckled
carton, stored last winter. Remember now
the lid’s thick texture that prickles like a
chalkboard fingernail’s brush. Searching is a
duty; a willing chance to stand among
remnants of our farmily’s subterrain: shut
cameras, darkroom leavings, and thin pressed stacks
of jumbo magazines; curling tempras,
a canvas buggy, a kite trailing strings
of dormant lights, the box. Nothing rattles,
all figures keep safe in brown paper towelings.
These Epiphany actors swaddle together,
at tallest four fingers: (1) Infant in
manger, (1) Mary, (1) Joseph, Wise Men
(3), and Lesbians (2) with linked arms who
bear gifts. All pressed into forms of mud
clay tactile with their fine grit. Wardrobe mixes
cassocks and casques, beards and bobbed hair, The A.D.
and this a.d. together around the
Infant, His arms akimbo in welcome
from the unfired pottery straw. We are sturdy
nomads who find places in the gathering with our gifts.